Football

CHARLOTTE – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers clinched the NFC South with a divisional win over the Carolina Panthers, as the home team closed their slate at Bank of America Stadium with a 32-6 defeat. Carolina lost for the fifth consecutive game and sixth straight at home, failing to win a game in Charlotte after the […]

The Carolina Panthers have their work cut out for them on Sunday, as they will host the defending Super Bowl champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their home finale of the 2021 season. Tampa is coming off a 9-0 loss to division rival, the New Orleans Saints on Sunday Night Football, but are 10-4, and still in the hunt for the #1 seed in the NFC. Meanwhile, the Panthers limp in with a 5-9 record, having lost 9 of their last 11 games. On Sunday the Panthers are going to use both Cam Newton and Sam Darnold, at the QB spot, as ever since October, Carolina has suffered injuries and inconsistent play at the sport's most important position. That doesn't bode well for their upcoming game, as Tampa has one of the better defensive units in the NFL. To find out what makes the Tampa defense so good, Anthony Becht joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today, and offered this take: "They play with intense speed, and they get to the football. They really do pursue to the ball very quickly. In those down and distances (situations) when they need to put pressure on the quarterback, to speed the process up they can do that. " That doesn't bode well for an offensive line that has struggled all season long to keep their quarterbacks clean in the pocket or establish any dominance in the run game. Even with this game being in Bank of America Stadium, it is going to take the best effort of the season to stay competitive with the Bucs, let alone earn a much needed win on Sunday.

There are still 3 weeks left in the NFL regular season, but it is never too early to start about the 2022 NFL Draft, especially with the Panthers sitting at 5-9, with a lot of questions both on and off the field. NFL Draft writer for Yahoo Sports Eric Edholm released his latest mock draft yesterday, and he has the Panthers selecting Pittsburgh QB Kenny Pickett with the number seven pick. Pickett is coming off a career year, leading Pittsburgh to an ACC title, and an appearance in the Peach Bowl. Edholm joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today, and when asked why he has the Panthers taking Pickett he replied:  "He really did put it all together this year and did play at a much higher level. I feel like it was a perfect storm with his experience paying off. Being in that system in another year. There was just so much to like" It doesn't a rocket scientist to see after this season where the Panthers have started three different quarterbacks, that they need to find a franchise quarterback if Matt Rhule wants this thing to last in the NFL. There is still a long way to go before the NFL Draft commences, but Pickett is going to be a prospect to monitor closely leading up to the draft. 

It's no secret that the Panthers have two major question marks personnel-wise moving forward that the team still has to address, the left tackle and the quarterback positions. Left tackle is a spot where Panther fans have grown frustrated by the fact that the team hasn't taken many risks and has tried to solve the position with band-aid instead of a long-term fix. The quarterback position is an area where the team has been more aggressive, but simply has swung and missed on the three quarterbacks that they have acquired since Matt Rhule's arrival two years ago.

The Carolina Panthers have lost 9 of their last 11 games, and after a 3-0 start, they sit at 5-9 and are virtually out of the playoff picture. The recent losing streak which extended to four games on Sunday in Buffalo has raised the question of Matt Rhule's job security in Carolina after this season. Rhule, who signed a seven-year, $63 million dollar contract roughly two years ago, is 10-20 in the NFL. Despite his struggles in the league, he was sought after for all the premium openings in college football, but never really considered leaving. There's no denying that Matt Rhule was David Tepper's guy, remember he out-bid the New York Giants for Rhule's services, and even visited Rhule's house to interview him, and offer him the job. During the struggles of this season in particular, Tepper has been very quiet, which hasn't eased any concerns Rhule may be having. Joe Person from The Athletic joined Wilson & Norfleet, and had this to say on the matter: "It feels like this is a franchise were somebody needs to say something. Everything I keep hearing is that Rhule is probably safe" Tepper has only made a handful of public comments in the last year or so, but this feels like the appropriate time to hear from the NFL's richest owner, as his franchise is currently suffering from the fourth consecutive losing season, the first time that has ever happened in the history of the Carolina Panthers. 

The Carolina Panthers could not overcome the loss of kicker Zane Gonzalez to a pregame injury, as the Buffalo Bills prevailed with a 31-14 victory Sunday in Buffalo. Gonzalez injured his quad while attempting a kick during the pregame warmups, significantly altering how the Panthers handled the kicking duties. Carolina didn’t attempt a single field […]

The Senior NFL Reporter for The MMQB dropped by the Clubhouse With Kyle Bailey on Thursday as he went into the Jaguars decision to finally pull the plug on the Urban Meyer, and how cloudy the Panthers offseason looks at this moment. Kyle first asked Albert why did it take so long for Jaguars Owner […]

The Host and Reporter for Pro-Football Focus Trevor Sikkema joined Kyle Bailey on Tuesday’s edition of the Clubhouse as he looked at what he makes of the Panthers current situation, and how they can fix it moving forward. The ball got rolling with Trevor looking at the Panthers process as he notes that when Rhule […]

The Carolina Panthers beat reporter for The Athletic Joe Person joined Kyle Bailey on Monday’s edition of the Clubhouse as he looked at some of the problems that continued to plague the Panthers against the Falcons, and what fans may need to be aware of heading into a gloomy offseason with more questions than answers. […]

There have been many successful college football coaches that have made the jump to the NFL, and it didn't work out. Names that come to mind our Lou Holtz who won a national championship at Notre Dame, Steve Spurrier who won a championship at Florida, Bobby Petrino who built Louisville into a national program, and oh Nick Saban who is arguably the best coach in the history of college football. When the Panthers lured away Matt Rhule from Baylor and outbid the Giants to get him, it was perceived that David Tepper had found in Carolina what Mike Tomlin is in Pittsburgh. A 10-19 record later, it appears that Rhule's time in Carolina is running short, as players started voicing their concern in the media following the loss to Atlanta yesterday. Urban Meyer entered the NFL this season when he took over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the #1 overall pick in Trevor Lawrence. Meyer had won national championships at both Florida and Ohio State, before taking on the NFL. Jacksonville has managed only two wins this season, as their coach has had issues both on the field and off the field. He's fought an uphill battle from day one, and it doesn't seem to be getting any better, any time soon.   Mello Miller from the Draft Scout joined Wilson & Norfleet earlier today, and when asked about the struggles of Rhule and Meyer he replied: I'm more surprised at the struggles of Matt Rhule than Urban Meyer. (Rhule) I thought that he would be such a good NFL pedigree guy. That he could come in, and pair him with Joe Brady, would be pretty good Ironically enough, it looks like both Matt Rhule and Urban Meyer are headed to faster exits than anticipated upon their arrival in the NFL.